Why Weekends are Important?
If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of on the weekend, it’s possibilities!
For most of history, the workweek has been six or seven days long. As much as we love weekends, would you believe that they’ve only been around for less than 100 years?
Who invented weekends?
For much of history, taking one day of rest each week has been very common. This stems from various religious traditions. For example, Muslims traditionally took a day of rest on Friday, while Jews observed a day of rest on Saturday and Christians did so on Sunday.
It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s that the concept of a two-day “weekend” began to take shape. At this time, large factories that produced consumer goods were beginning to transform the traditional farming economy into an industrial one.
As farmers began to take jobs in factories, they often disliked working certain hours, since they were used to setting their own schedule on the farm. They also did not like the fact that many factory owners forced them to work seven days per week. They began to complain and ask for time off with their families.
This complaining eventually grew into organized labor strikes across the U.S., in which laborers refused to work in order to send a strong message to their employers. During these strikes, tensions between law enforcement and demonstrators were often high, and sadly, some people were injured or even lost their lives.
Over time, factory owners realized that it would be most efficient to let workers off on both Saturday and Sunday. But Jewish and Christian factoryworkers weren’t entirely responsible for the invention of the weekend.
A prominent factory owner — Henry Ford — also played a big role. Even though the federal government didn’t begin to limit companies to a 40-hour workweek until 1938, Ford began to give his factory workers a two-day weekend in the early 1900s.
Thank you Henry Ford
So the next time the weekend rolls around and you want to thank someone, thank the labor movement, including labor unions, that existed in the late 1800s. And thank Henry Ford, who recognized that the economy gets a boost if workers have a couple of days off each week to purchase goods and enjoy using them!
Read more about Henry Ford at Wikipedia
Ideas for the Weekend
- Sleeping in later than usual
- Playing sports
- Watching television
- Playing video games
- Having fun with family and friends
- Trying something new: surfing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, checking out a farmers’ market, seeing a movie, visiting a relative in the nursing home
- Go to the zoo
- Try a new recipe
- DIY projects
- Visit museums
- Walk and discover new corners of your city
- Clean your closet
- Donate some of your free time to help a stranger
- Learn a new language
- Painting is a great idea! (my TOP personal favorite)
- Spend some time for knitting
- Or just read the book that is waiting in the coffee table since last summer!
- Do something that you can not do during the week days
So what are your plans for the weekend?
I am waiting for your ideas!